Deputy Clerk In Rowan County Says Licenses Will Be Issued Today
An employee in the office of the Kentucky clerk who was released from jail after a five-day stint for contempt says workers there will issue marriage licenses Wednesday. Their boss will still be out of the office.
Kentucky clerk Kim Davis can collect a paycheck for the days she sat in jail and the week she's spending at home, resting and reading hundreds of letters from her fans.
Elected officials in Kentucky get paid whether they work or not. The state auditor's office confirmed that officials don't accumulate vacation, sick or comp time.
Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins said paid time off is left to the official's discretion and "voters will vote you out if you take too much."
Davis was sent to jail Thursday for defying a series of federal court orders and continuing to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She was released Tuesday and announced she will not return to work until Monday.
Davis draws a salary of $80,000.
Residents of the eastern Kentucky town where a county clerk was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses say they are eager for things to return to normal.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was jailed for five days for refusing a federal judge's order. Her actions attracted news media and protesters from all over the country. And it forced residents of this eastern Kentucky community to confront each other with deeply held beliefs they had previously kept to themselves.
The Rowan County Rights Organization suspended all protests on Wednesday after a long hot summer protesting the marriage ban, which spokeswoman Nashia Fife said was difficult, since most of its members know Davis and her family personally.
Local pastor Randy Smith worries the situation will embolden activists on both sides, but hopes they can live together in peace.
The day after she was released from jail, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis announced she would stay home from work until Monday, leaving unanswered whether she'll comply with a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Davis's attorneys with the Christian law firm Liberty Counsel released a statement saying that she will spend the next several days resting with family and combing through the hundreds of letters she received during her five-day stint in jail.
Davis was held in contempt and jailed for defying a series of court orders and continuing to refuse to issue marriage licenses. In her absence, a deputy clerk began issuing them. The judge let her out Tuesday, with strict orders not to intervene. Davis' attorneys would not say whether she intends to comply.
To many, Kim Davis has become a household name. The Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk has garnered national attention for weeks for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
Just across the street from her office, another local worker shares her first name — but Kim Tabor is tired of being mistaken for the embattled clerk, and she wants to clear up the confusion.
She made herself a bright orange T-shirt that announces: "Hello. My name is not Kim Davis."
Tabor works for the circuit clerk. She says people calling from all over the country have confused the two Kims and have misdirected their wrath toward Tabor.
Tabor says most people she passes in her T-shirt smile and laugh amid the chaos swirling around town.
Protesters, television cameras and reporters have swarmed the government buildings where both women work. Tabor says she wants people who've seen her hometown on the news to know something: "We are so much more than what's going on today."
A San Francisco couple say they traveled to the Kentucky county of an embattled clerk of court to get married and make a statement for gay rights.
Mark Shrayber and Allen Corona are the first couple to complete their paperwork to be married in Rowan County, Kentucky, since the clerk's office began processing licenses again.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage nationwide, clerk Kim Davis has refused to give licenses to gay couples, citing religious beliefs about homosexuality. She was held in jail for five days on contempt charges and released Tuesday. In her absence, deputy clerks issued licenses.
The couple received their license Tuesday. They were married later that day in a small ceremony at Morehead State University and returned to the office Wednesday to file the license with county officials, per legal protocol in Kentucky.
The couple praised the response of residents, some of whom ran up to hug them. Shrayber says it seemed many were embarrassed by the situation.
Shrayber says he's disgusted Davis is becoming "a martyr for the cause." He says: "We are in 2015. We are not burning witches anymore."
Kentucky's attorney general says that for now, he will not appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the claim that Rowan County clerk Kim Davis committed a crime when she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
One couple who was denied a license asked Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins to investigate a charge of official misconduct, a misdemeanor in Kentucky applicable to public officials who neglect their duties. Watkins, citing a conflict of interest, passed the complaint along to the attorney general, who could then choose whether to appoint a special prosecutor.
But Attorney General Jack Conway released a one-sentence statement on Wednesday, noting that Davis' actions are being monitored by U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning, who sent Davis to jail for five days for defying court orders to issue the licenses.
Conway's statement reads: "Judge Bunning and the federal court have control of this matter, and therefore a special state prosecutor is not necessary at this time."
A deputy county clerk in Kentucky says that even if his boss tells him to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, he will tell her he can't obey her and will instead follow a judge's order.
Brian Mason works for Rowan County clerk Kim Davis, who was jailed for five days over her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Davis was released Tuesday. A federal judge warned her not to interfere with licensing; deputy clerks have been issuing them in her absence. But Davis' lawyers have said she can't violate her conscience, and she's repeatedly cited her beliefs about homosexuality as an apostolic Christian. The attorneys wouldn't say exactly what she'll do when she returns to work Friday or Monday.
Mason said Wednesday that licenses would be granted to anyone seeking them. He told reporters that if Davis tells him to stop, he will tell her no. Mason says he would have to follow the judge's order to issue licenses.
Lawyers for Rowan County clerk Kim Davis say she will return to work Friday or Monday. Davis has become a symbol of religious freedom for many as she defied court orders to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, citing her beliefs about homosexuality. She was released from jail Tuesday. A judge warned her not to interfere with licensing, but her lawyers wouldn't say what she'll do.
In the meantime, deputy clerk Brian Mason says the office will issue licenses Wednesday in Davis' absence if anyone seeks them.
Mason says that while Davis was jailed, the office issued 10 licenses: eight Friday, two Tuesday. Seven went to same-sex couples.
Lawyers for the Kentucky clerk who was released from jail Tuesday after her continued refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples say will return to work Friday or Monday.
Charla Bansley, spokeswoman for the Christian law firm Liberty Counsel, said in an emailed statement late Tuesday that Rowan County clerk Kim Davis will take a couple of days off to spend with her family before she returns to work.
Davis' office opened at 8 a.m. Wednesday as scheduled. Davis had been jailed since Thursday. Five of her six deputies issued marriage licenses in her absence. In releasing Davis on Tuesday, a federal judge — the same who put her behind bars — warned her not to interfere with the licensing. But attorney Mat Staver, in comments outside the jail, refused to say whether she would obey U.S. District Judge David Bunning's order. Instead, Staver says Davis won't violate her conscience.
Authorities closed the road in front of the courthouse, where Davis' office is located, early Wednesday. Three protesters stood in front with signs.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis will return to work in Kentucky now that she's out of jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
But the apostolic Christian refused to say Tuesday how she would reconcile her conscience with a federal judge's order not to interfere with her deputy clerks issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning released Davis on Tuesday. Her attorney said she will not violate her conscience.
An attorney for the gay couples that sued Davis said they will ask the judge to punish Davis if she continues to defy his order.